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Tuesday, 28 August, 2001, 17:40 GMT 18:40 UK
Gifted pupils head to university
The scheme is aimed at the top 5% of 11 to 16 year olds
Universities in England are being asked to submit their bids to host and co-run the new Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth.

The academy will be expected to challenge and develop the most academically talented pupils aged 11 to 16.

Outstanding ability must not be allowed to remain dormant

Stephen Timms
It is hoped the academy will be up and running in time for the summer of 2003, offering pupils the chance to study subjects not normally covered at state schools, such as archaeology and biotechnology.

In what the government envisages will be "intensive" three-week sessions, the top 5% of youngsters will spend up to 100 hours covering national curriculum subjects, as well as other topics.

The scheme was inspired by a similar by a similar centre at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, United States.

The centre was founded in 1979 and now runs programmes for more than 10,000 children every year throughout the States.

'Challenge and support'

The School Standards Minister, Stephen Timms, said: "It is a mistake to assume that gifted and talented children can develop themselves".

"Many are achieving against the odds, and there are many more who are not yet identified.

"We owe them an education that provides the right mix of challenge and support," he said.

There was also a need to recognise the needs of parents and teachers, added.

"The Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth will help schools across the country to meet the needs of these children.

"Outstanding ability must not be allowed to remain dormant and so I look forward to the Academy unlocking the potential of our most able students," said Mr Timms.

See also:

13 Feb 01 | Education
US model for elite academy
14 Dec 98 | Education
Gifted pupils to get extra support
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